Our service in Leeds has been awarded a certificate of appreciation for “true co-production” from EPIC Leeds. We asked Sara Smithson, Chair of EPIC Leeds, to tell us about the award and the importance of co-production:
Each year EPIC Leeds take time out to celebrate successes and say thank you to those who have worked with us to make Leeds a better place for disabled children, young people and their families. We have seen significant changes over the past year with introduction of the special educational needs and disability reforms and roll out of the Independent Support Programme. In these changing times, partnership working and listening to parents is crucial to make sure the benefits of new legal rights become a reality.
Why did you give Scope an award?
Because of them having developed such a fantastic relationship. We like Scope’s enthusiasm to improve the world for disabled children and young people. Scope says ‘yes’ to ideas and new ways of doing things which was evident in development of the Independent Support programme:
- Researching through semi-structured interviews, focus groups and activities with children and young people. Getting their views on what was and wasn’t working in the SEN process and what they’d like to see from the upcoming independent support programme.
- Working with parents, children, young people and frontline professionals to design a service which was meaningful to them and would work in the ‘real world’.
- Having ALL parties round the table to create a Memorandum of Understanding. Sometimes this involves moving meeting dates four times to accommodate everyone’s diaries. Doing this shows the importance placed on representing everyone’s view.
- Creating an atmosphere where all partners can collaborate, discuss and work out a way of making this programme work. And recognising that the expertise is in the room and no single party can achieve this alone.
In your view, what does good co-production look like?
To put it in a nutshell: being equal partners in every aspect from the beginning. Doing things together and not having things ‘decided for’ and done ‘to you’. EPIC created a guide to Effective partnership and consultation (PDF). I would urge every organisation or agency to use it to direct how to work with families with disabled children. It describes ways of creating an ‘us together’ rather than the age old ‘us’ and ‘them’ approach which ticks boxes but doesn’t create meaningful relationships and a real change.
What difference does good co-production make to disabled children, young people and their families?
Ultimately it means a better world for disabled children, young people and their families. Their views, ideas and contributions are included in things that affect them. When co-production is done well, there is no longer a perceived hierarchy of opinion, everyone’s experience, thoughts and insights are valued. Who wouldn’t want to feel valued and listened to?
Scope’s Aspire Services in Calderdale are delighted to have received the “Team Of The Year Award” at an awards ceremony held at Halifax Minster to mark the work of the people who provide services to adults and older people in mental health, learning disabilities, residential and day care services.
Diane Thundercliffe, David Codling, Steve Oldroyd and Davis Hopkinson supported a group of disabled people on a three-day break to London. They arranged everything from finding a hotel, going to the theatre and sightseeing.
The award praised the opportunity and experience gained from the trip, saying: “The team went beyond their role and responsibilities and made a real impact to improve the quality of life of the people they support.”
The service was nominated by a customer and his care provider for the team’s person-centred service. He nominated the team for the way it supported him on his holiday to London. It was the first time the day service had run holidays, at the request of their customers.
The customers were involved in all aspects and tailored their holiday in London around what they wanted to do. Everyone had their own Personal Assistant and some fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition and went on a tour of Arsenal’s Emirates stadium with Gunners legend, Eddie Kelly. One person went to the theatre after having a afternoon in Covent Garden. They are planning their next trip to Tenerife and other European cities.
Service manager Peter Wardhaugh said, “I am delighted the team where recognised in this way and appreciate the customer and provider nominating us. However, this is what we are about: working alongside and with people to see the things they want to achieve happen.”
Scope’s Trendsetters were the worthy winners of a Scope award for Working Together… well done, Trendsetters!
This award shows how much Scope appreciates the hard work the Trendsetters are putting in to the project, and how well they are working together with Scope staff and each other to produce information and resources for young disabled people.
The award was presented at a meeting in London, and Bradley and Vanique were there to accept the award on behalf of the whole Trendsetters group. Bradley said, “We were nervous when we got there because we saw loads of people and my Nan said ‘Oh, that’s Linford Christie’ then they said that Trendsetters had won.”
Bradley and Vanique went up on stage to collect the award and have their photo taken, and they talked to Linford after the presentation and told him all about the Trendsetters project and all the different things they were doing. Vanique said, “We both felt shy but Linford talked to us about Trendsetters and Bradley told him about the video he is going to make about how difficult it is to use London buses.”
Congratulations to all the Trendsetters for winning this award, and thank you to Bradley and Vanique who made it to the venue at very short notice and did a fantastic job.
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